Nanjing, China


City master plan


21.4 square kilometers



Key Staff

Eric McNevin, Andrew Wright, Kim Lagercrantz

The Mountain Island City is one component of a multi-city master plan located outside of Nanjing, China. The other cities in the plan are the Bridge City, the Superblock City, and the Concentric City.

There are two primary natural landscape features – a mountain and an existing lake. On the Mountain, a series of terraced buildings are carefully configured to conform to the topography of the south face of the slope, creating a new Hillside Planning Prototype. An existing road serves as the northern boundary of the terraces. Along the road, a new Water Collection Zone/Reservoir collects rainwater. The water can be filtered for re-use and released using gravity flow down the slope through turbines to generate electricity. Above the reservoir, north of the road, is a new outdoor Mountain Amphitheater. Three separate lines of terraces converge at the base of the mountain at a tram station. There is a new tram system that moves people up and down the mountain and across the site to the island. The perimeter of the existing lake is extended to match the surrounding natural floodplain. Lake shore development surrounds the lake with activity zones that extend into the water.

The Man-Made Island is located within the existing lake to create a new island town. The perimeter of the Island is lined with a new Waterfront Edge Building that follows the waterfront. Smaller neighborhoods are located inland. There are a number of Wharfs along the perimeter of the Island, and a series of Waterfront Sun Courts on the water’s edge that are shaped to align with the orientation of the sun. These very large courtyard structures combine various program uses to become major activity centers on the Island. Bridges connect the Waterfront Sun Courts to the mainland. The tram from the Mountain crosses the water and runs through the center of the Man-Made Island, connecting to four of the Waterfront Sun Courts. Also located along the tram are two Mound Prototypes. These structures appear as a large, elevated landscape roof with a building below. The Mounds house film production offices, stages, and production facilities.

Three new Stacked Islands provide the base for three large towers on the southern side of the lake. Island Bridge Connectors link the towers to the Man-Made Island.